The other day, I arrived home from a day of thrift store shopping (LOVE those days) and found these little beauties on my doorstep:
I smiled and was saddened at the same time, as I knew exactly what these were for. They were from my friend Amy. I knew this without even reading the attached card. That part made me smile. "She remembered," I chuckled.
And then my smile faded ever so slightly. These bright and beautiful sunflowers were a sign that she DID remember... she remembered the birthday of my first daughter, Lyla. She would be 3. A "Happy Birthday" bouquet of sorts.
Some of you know the story, but for those of you that don't:
In 2006, I learned I was pregnant.
On January 25th of 2007, my world was flipped upside down. At 20 weeks I had my first ultrasound. We learned we were having a little girl. We also learned she had Anencephaly, a terminal disease which caused her to be missing the majority of her brain. She would not live long after birth, but might not even make it that far.
My heart broke.
I wept.
What a day.
On June 20th of 2007, at 1:27am, I gave birth a beautiful little girl. We named her Lyla Grace. Her heart was slowly beating - almost just enough to say a quick hello. I clutched her in my arms, caressed her cheeks, held her little hands, kissed her tiny toes and listened to her heart slowly tiring. After twenty-three minutes of feeling every emotion imaginable, I listened as her small heart beat slowed to a stop.
Every year on June 20th, we remember and celebrate our precious Lyla.
We don't have a big party or remind our friends.
The day goes on like any other day, but we remember.
We visit the Memorial Gardens where she is buried.
We talk about the day she was born...
...how Amy brought us ice cream in the hospital the night before.
...how we played the Wii in our hospital room and some of the nurses played too.
...how we didn't know what to expect.
...how we hoped she would be born alive.
...how our doctor took my rockstar husband out to eat while we were waiting.
...how she looked when we met her.
...how beautiful she was.
...how she fought real hard to be born with her heart still beating.
...how much our hearts overflowed with love the second we saw her.
...how much we miss her.
Amy took this picture. She took a lot of pictures. Pictures when I was pregnant and pictures after Lyla was born. I cherish each one.
I remember Amy weeping when Lyla was born.
She lost a child too.
She understands.
She remembers.
And so every year we remember each other's little one's birthdays.
And this year, she gave us Sunflowers.
I've always liked sunflowers.
I like them even more now.

I miss you, Lyla.
Happy birthday, beautiful girl.


  1. Beautifully spoken.

  2. Beautiful! Life is messy but God always seems to have a plan. Thanks for telling your story. We should all listen closely.


  3. Well put. I love you my sis. And I love that niece. Can't wait to meet her upstairs w/ Jesus.